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Last night I went to see the 100th (ish) podcast recording by Richard Herring and Andrew Collins at the Leicester Square Theatre in London. This had been their 2 year anniversary of podcasting together. The gig had sold out and people had even brought tickets to stand in the aisles. As I looked around the crowd I realised that we all looked like 18 year old college students. We might have actually ranged from 15 year old looking kids to distinguished looking 65 year old gentlemen, but somehow we still all looked and dressed like 18 year old college students.

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Originally a music journalist, 45 year old Collins has since gone on to record 38 list shows (The Best of, The Funniest etc etc etc) and has been a regular 6 Music presenter since 2002. He is the author of several excellent books including That’s Me in the Corner, Still Suitable for Miners, Where Did It All Go Right? and Heaven Knows I Miserable Now. Collins script writing credits include Eastenders, Family Affairs and Not Going Out. Along with his DJ, writing and Collings and Herrin podcast comittments, in 2010 Collins is expected to use his writing genius to create a new sitcom.

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43 year old Herring whose middle name is Gonk, is known for Talking Cock (man’s answer to The Vagina Monologues), Time Gentlemen Please and has also contributed to Little Britain. He has maintained a blog titled Warming Up since 2002 and uses it as a means to overcome writers block. If you follow @herring1967 on Twitter then you can receive links informing you when there’s a fantastic new blog post (in an iPhone compatable format). Herring has recently started recording and distributing his stand-up routines on DVD including Oh Fuck, I’m 40! and has performed at the Edinburgh Festival since 1987. If you ever go and see his comedy live, then please don’t heckle him. He’s an expert and you don’t stand a chance.

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I didn’t grow up on Collings or Herrin – they were not 2 of my 5 a day. During the 1990s I didn’t know about Collins and Maconie’s Hit Parade (1994 – 1997) or Lee & Herring’s Fist of Fun (1993 – 1996). But thanks to the gentleman that I live with, there are tape cassettes and videos scattered around the house. They have several scribbled out words on their labels before a Collins or Herring production found a lasting home on them.

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So after much talk about how good Herring was, we went to see him perform his ‘Headmasters Son’ routine towards the end of its run in Derby in 2009. I was very surprised (Fist of Fun just dosen’t rock my boat). He had the performance polished off with such finesse and perfectness – it was absolutely brilliant. I hadn’t had a comedian make me laugh that much in a good few years…. Oh yes, I remember – this is what a good comedian looks and sounds like!

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Since then, we’ve also seen his Hitler Moustache routine before he even took it to Edinburgh. For it’s test run Leicester was deemed good enough (the Comedy Festival needs you @herring1967), and it was clear that this early version of a routine was not as polished as the Derby performance. But that’s one of the things that’s great about his comedy. He’s intelligent and his comedy is intellegent. Although sometimes childish in presentation, Herring’s comedy takes a look at old age serious problems through the eyes of an innocent 11 year old genius. It’s totally refreshing.

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Until last night I hadn’t really seen or heard much of Collins’ work, even though there were a few of his books lying around the house. I was given the impression that the relationship between Collins and Herring consisted of Collins acting as a censor to Herring’s more salubrious style of laughs. But holding the leash and caring about where Herring might end up with some of the things he says is just a part of Collins’ adorable sense of humour. He hasn’t got a long history of doing pure stand-up but I’d really like to see him do more. It’s very engaging, happy stuff.

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As for the 100th (ish) Collings & Herring podcast. Well, what can I say? Although they’ve been around in this house for a while, I’ve got 99 to listen to and I can’t wait.

Go here to listen to them.

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